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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-85-021-1654, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 85-021-1654, 1986 Jan; :1-11
Following a request from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, the source of nose bleeds and upper respiratory tract irritation among employees in the insulation shop at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (SIC-3731) Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was investigated. Air samples were collected and analyzed for total fiber count. Samples were also analyzed by transmission electron microscopy for fiber identification, gravimetrically for respirable dust exposure, and using X-ray diffraction for quartz (14808607) content. Medical questionnaires were completed by 73 of 100 insulators. Respirable dust concentrations ranged from 8.7 to 30 micrograms per cubic meter (microg/m3). Concentrations of total fibers less than 5 microns in length ranged from 0.0017 to 0.005 fibers per cubic centimeter. Asbestos (1332214) concentrations did not differ significantly from zero. Symptoms most frequently reported were sneezing, experienced by 81 percent of respondents, followed by runny nose, frequent colds, and skin irritation. Sixty three percent reported having some nose bleeds, consisting of spotting when blowing the nose, with an average frequency of two per week. The author concludes that employee symptoms are probably caused by the irritating properties of magnesium-silicate, portland cement (65997151), and fibrous glass, as well as poor work practices which resulted in direct contact and transfer of the irritating dusts. Rigorous attention to personal hygiene is recommended.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; HETA-85-021-1654; Region-1; Hazard-Confirmed; Silicates; Fibrous-dusts; Respiratory-irritants; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Nasal-disorders; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; Author Keywords: Ship Building and Repair; Irritation; Magnesium-Silicate; Portland Cement; Upper Respiratory; Nose-bleeds; Fibrous-glass
14808-60-7; 1332-21-4; 65997-15-1
Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
NTIS Accession No.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division